Belfast Telegraph

Presbyterian minister turns to art

The Iris Robinson scandal and the plight of Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS) savers were portrayed in controversial new works by a minister turned artist.

Keith Drury, who left the church last year to pick up a brush full time, also depicted Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness in unfamiliar garb for the collection unveiled today.

The 46-year-old won plaudits for his novel style which interweaves art with social commentary.

"I call it 'artobiography'," explained the east Belfast father of two. "It combines art and also a story - it's a way of using imagery to communicate a message."

The work on the PMS crisis had particular resonance for the Presbyterian minister of 19 years.It portrays a man with a painting under his arm running away from a slogan declaring "come back with the money".

"That was also a sort of self portrait as the person running away and exiting the scene from the church," he said. "It's also a commentary on how I think Presbyterian church as a whole has run away from the savers and hasn't really addressed the problem."

Mr Drury says he left the church - his last ministry was at May Street Presbyterian in Belfast city centre - because he felt his creativity was being stifled.

A year into his new career, he has already won a major international competition to produce a public artwork for Belfast City Hall.

His latest exhibition is on display at the Market Place Theatre in Armagh.

"I have kept my focus on local people and events for the time being, but I may soon run out of those and have to look internationally for inspiration," he said.

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